Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Unlucky Magpie 58

Chinese Numerology
5+8=13, 1+3=4.
4 is the death number.

This little limerick is an old one, written when I realised I no longer saw people as members of a homogeneous group as my religion had dicated, but related to each individual as a unique human being.
Out went any claim to superiority by class, race, religion, nation, and with it the inherited permission to treat others with less than total respect. ‘Gunboat diplomacy’ was dead.

Survival of the Fittest.
We invented the cannon and sabre
To take from those living by labour.
But change is demanding
A new understanding,
That ‘I am my own neighbour’s neighbour’.

From that came the one rule that governs all my dealings with others. “Do not do to others what you would not wish others to do to you.” (the Mosaic commandment lets the deluded pester me with Watchtowers!)
Note: My 'commandment' does not work for masochists!

Dragged from the archives in response to Magpie Tales


  1. A good Magpie. I agree, no-one is more superior to another.

  2. Easy when you say it like that.
    I try to do likewise.

  3. Nicely put, Stafford. I had to double check what 'masochist' meant as I've been a lot of 'chists' in the past but thankfully not this one...!!

  4. .. from sea to shining sea. I am my neighbor's neighbor. I like that!

  5. and we all live in one neighborhood; so very true these days.

  6. NOT the Hon Roderick D'Stamford motto!

  7. If only the rest of the world could adopt this philosophy, we would be in a happier state.

  8. Nice post, as always. Thanks

  9. The death number? I wondered why swords were on my mind this week.

  10. “Do not do to others what you would not wish others to do to you.”

    The same thing i learned and follow since long :)

    PS : 13 is not as unlucky. Not for all !!

  11. Wise words indeed! I ahare your philosopy and treat everyone as a potential friend.

    Anna :o]

  12. I like this, and the wisdom of the last line!

    Depending on dialect and/or pronunciation, "4" can also carry the meaning in Chinese of "sure" or "certain". For example, when I bought a car in Singapore years ago, the license plate number was 8848. "8" meaning "prosper/prosperity", the salesman interpreted the number to mean "Prosperity, prosperity, sure prosperity!"

    He wanted to buy my plate from me.

    I should have sold it to him! :)


  13. Too many never realize the implications of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." By doing it to them you place your approval on their treating you that way.

  14. The golden rule is a great one indeed Stafford....we may not always see each and everything eye to eye....but I certainly respect your brilliance and love your brave honesty. :-)

  15. Wise words, yet a shameful world when we must reverse the golden rule to not do to others... Well done.

  16. love your re-written commandment -- it takes on a subtly different meaning when you rephrase it that way....so much more powerful.


  17. Wise, terse, and oh so humanistic.
    I always felt that we should get
    busy breeding ourselves into
    one race, and shift our ethnicities
    into one; of this earth, and
    earthite. Our humanity is always
    tested, daily, every second; that
    and the calamities we have helped
    to nurture by goading our planet.

  18. Haha what you said about masochists :)

  19. Dear Stafford: Great limerick! Very inspiring! The fact that you "do unto others..." is a solid philosophy, and I believe Confuscious was the first to say these words and then incorporated in other philosophies. Particularly love;

    "A new understanding,"

    Lovely take on Love Not War theme! I do agree completely!

  20. Right on, bro. You are a wise man, indeed!

  21. Well said! (and the disclaimer for masochists is funny)

  22. This poem moves me... to tears. Beautiful!


(leave a message)